In the age of remote work and constant distractions everywhere you look, it’s vital more than ever to find the best productivity techniques that will actually help you get work done.
Procrastination is a real issue. Overcoming it and boosting your motivation doesn’t have to be hard, however – all you need is to know how to make yourself complete your work right here, right now.
Less overthinking, more action.
Here are some of the best ways to get yourself motivated today and finish every single task on that dreadful to-do list.
1: The 2-Minute Rule
Coined by David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, the 2-minute rule is a simple yet effective way to take the first step towards building habits.
Every action can be broken down into 2 minutes.
If you want to read more books, tell yourself you’ll read one page per day.
If you want to run a marathon, walk in the backyard for 120 seconds.
That’s all it takes.
The secret? Once you’ve started doing something, you’ll feel much more inclined to simply keep going.
By making the task as small as possible in your brain, you’re motivating yourself to take the first step, which is often the hardest part.
Once you’re past that barrier, things suddenly don’t seem so bad.
2: The Pomodoro Technique
If you’re struggling with your attention span and keep getting distracted during work, the Pomodoro Technique might be just what you need - developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, it gives you specific time windows to focus.
Set your alarm for 25 minutes, shut off all distractions, and get to work. 25 minutes doesn’t seem like that much time, which helps you stop feeling overwhelmed about the long day ahead.
Anyone can do 25 minutes, right?
Afterward, take a break for 5 or 10 minutes. Then do another 25 minutes. You can repeat this cycle for as long as you want.
Before you know it, you’ve managed to complete your work by breaking it into small, focused sessions.
3: Make things easy for your future-self
When you’re about to begin a task, it’s often the starting stages that seem the most intimidating.
Planning a whole project outline before you can even start doing it seems like so much work! Don’t even get me started on clearing out that email box, right?
The key to motivation is to have as little friction between your current state and the task head as possible. When you outline a chapter of your novel the day before you start writing it, all you have to do is to sit down the next morning and… write.
Always try to make things easy for your future self. Once you catch up and actually become that person, you’ll be grateful for the work you did yesterday.
4: Complete all the quick tasks first
To-do lists are by far one of the most effective ways to get a lot done. And there’s a way to upgrade them!
Who doesn’t love ticking something off their to-do list? It makes you feel productive, fulfilled, and most importantly, more motivated to keep going.
The upgrade is simple – if you make sure to complete all your quick tasks first thing in the morning, just looking at your list will make you feel better about the day ahead.
You’ve done so much already, and it’s only 10 AM!
Working your way through the rest of the tasks feels much easier when you add a sense of achievement into the mix.
5: The Eisenhower Matrix
Another great way to enhance your to-do list is to categorize tasks by their importance and urgency.
The Eisenhower Matrix, developed by the American statesman Dwight D. Eisenhower, helps you achieve just that:
To sum up: Focus on urgent and important tasks. Schedule non-urgent important tasks for later. Delegate urgent and non-important tasks to someone else, and avoid tasks that are both non-important and non-urgent.
6: Clean your space to feel more productive
According to a study from 2018, working in a clean environment makes you more productive.
It makes sense – when the world around you is clean and decluttered, your mind is more likely to feel fresh and content thanks to the cleanliness surrounding you.
Productivity seems to fit into a clean environment. Your mind recognizes that.
So why not clear out your space to make some room for a fresh way of thinking?
For even more tips on how to increase productivity and boost motivation, CLICK HERE for part 4!